U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday would not commit to his predecessor’s pledge to remove President Andrew Jackson from the twenty-dollar bill and replace him with Harriet Tubman. “Ultimately we’ll be looking at this issue,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s Steve Liesman. “It’s not something that I’m focused on at the moment.” He then deflected: “But the number-one issue why we change the currency is to stop counterfeiting, so the issues of why we change it will be primarily related to what we need to do for security purposes and I’ve received classified briefings on that. that's what i'm focused on for the moment.” When Liesman noted that there certainly are “cultural aspects” to such decisions as well, Mnuchin again dodged: “People have been on the bills for a long period of time. This is something we’ll consider; right now we have a lot more important issues to focus on.” In the same interview, Mnuchin also said the debt ceiling deadline—currently slated for September 29—could be even sooner after Congress approves a relief package for Hurricane Harvey victims.
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